Hot Air Balloons

Hot Air BalloonSome days, you feel like you’re floating in a hot air balloon, high up in the sky where everything seems beautiful, manageable, serene.

Other days, you feel like you’re on the ground in your basket, ropes tangled in a mess all around you, fabric lying limp on the ground with no hope of rising.

What makes the difference? How do you get from one state to another, sometimes in the blink of an eye?

I am in my head a lot. It’s a curse. I can take any situation and find a really good way of looking at it, or a really bad way of looking at it. People talk about the yin and yang of life and they’re right – it’s all there, all the time, the good and the bad, the easy and the hard. We choose how to see it, how to perceive it, how to respond.

When I am gliding along happily in my balloon, I forget to work hard. I let the wind carry me and I don’t worry much about setting my own course. It’s a very enjoyable time. I get to be lazy, and I like that because life is so busy so much of the time, being lazy is a wonderful luxury.

The problem is, when I’m mindlessly gliding along, any little gust of wind can change my direction. Sometimes it happens so subtly that I don’t even realize it’s happened until I’m completely off-course, fighting a storm that’s threatening to throw my balloon to the ground. It’s disorienting, and terrifying.

Afterwards, I inevitably need a period of time to find my bearings and to remind myself that if I just invested a little energy into navigating continuously, I would be better able to avoid being tossed around by sudden gusts of wind in the future.

Life requires discipline. Sometimes I don’t like that but I’m beginning to realize it’s a non-negotiable reality. I must take responsibility for my direction. I must not sit back lazily drifting in the air currents. I must not forget to navigate my own life. Today, and every day from this point forward, I will try my best to set my own course lest some new gust of wind push in to set it for me.